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Coronavirus fears seem far away as stores reopen in rural US
Small communities need coronavirus relief just as much as big cities: Sen. John Barrasso
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., provides insights into coronavirus relief funding in Washington.
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Traffic got a little busier along Main Street, but otherwise, it was hard to tell that coronavirus restrictions were ending in the tiny Montana town of Roundup.
That’s because it’s largely business as usual in the town of 1,800 people. Nonessential stores could reopen as a statewide shutdown ended this week, but most shops in Roundup — the pharmacy, the hardware store, two small grocers — were essential and never closed.
A florist and a thrift shop reopened Monday, apparently two of the only stores that had to shut down at all. Bars and restaurants remain shuttered and getting takeout is still the only option until May 4, when they can open with restrictions.
Parts of the U.S. are starting to lift closures, and some of the quickest to do so have been rural states like Montana, Vermont and Alaska. The effects of the pandemic in small towns can seem a world away from cities grappling with overwhelmed hospitals, packed morgues and economies pushed to the brink.
GEORGIA RESTAURANTS REOPEN AS CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS LOOSEN
The consequences of easing restrictions in rural communities won’t be fully known for some time, and health officials said they will be watching closely for a resurgence of infections.